Exploring the nature of value in the word-of-mouth referral equation for health care

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Dobele, Angela ; Lindgreen, Adam

Understanding the nature of customer value in health care is critical given the diversity of consumer needs, an increase in the number of providers, and resource pressures faced by private and public providers. A move to greater accountability and consumer sensitivity also has driven this need, especially since many providers of health care funds incorporate customer satisfaction into performance measures. To understand consumer value in health care, we focused on one context – word-of-mouth referrals by new mothers. Drawing upon 16 in-depth interviews, we identify the nature of value discussed, including the quality of the experience, staff friendliness and expertise, and source credibility.
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